Adiba A. Zubair:
I am Adiba A. Zubair, an Edgar Allan Poe and Tennyson enthusiast who loves to dabble in all creative arts. For me, poetry has the power to express untold emotions and take you to a higher mental state.
I am also a Psychology graduate with First Class Honours from the University of Canberra, Australia. I like to see myself as an advocate for the mental health of women and I am trying to raise awareness and destigmatize mental health using my education and lived experience.
This poem that I wrote is very close to my heart. Domestic violence is vicious and it is a traumatic occurrence like no other. This poem is meant to help understand how a victim of DV feels and why she struggles to leave sometimes even when the physical, emotional, psychological pain is so acute.
Disclaimer(from the writer):
This poem is not based upon personal experience but I happen to know women who have faced domestic abuse and this is my way of empathizing with their suffering.
“Intimate terrorism” is what domestic violence is. If you ask me, there is nothing “domestic” about abuse and violence. It is vicious and jarring. And it is on the critical rise due to lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic. Keeping people in a closed, restricted place can easily rattle cages and it is terrifying to imagine the intense psychological as well as physical mistreatment that can ensue in these dark times.
But not everyone can seek refuge, not everyone can break out from these chains. You have to understand that to some, breaking away can seem more terrifying than dying at the hands of an abuser. It is a difficult conversation and one that has become a topic of heated discussion lately. Please instead of judging and aggressively questioning why someone is tolerating DV, let us try to understand and empathize with the person. Not everyone has the capacity to seek out professional help and work through their deep-rooted feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem resulting from DV.
If you want to help, it is much more effective to listen, to be patient, and allow the person the time and space to make a decision. You can provide the right contacts such as the National Helpline Centre or take your friend to seek counselor support. Whatever you do, please do not abandon her if she thinks differently than you. I know it is extremely heartbreaking to see someone you love be hurt, but you must remain gentle and be by the person’s side.
The poem earlier appeared on Adiba’s Instagram account, where she actively shares her thoughts and poems.